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Is Oracle Getting Ready To Kill Unbreakable Linux?

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Linux

People outside of IT seldom think of Oracle as a Linux company, probably because it isn't. Oracle has always been considered a database and application company. Their main bread and butter is the Oracle database (currently at version 11g), and the application products they have acquired through PeopleSoft, BEA Systems, and other companies. They also offer a product called Oracle Unbreakable Linux (a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux), but it has never achieved the wide market share that Red Hat currently enjoys. So now that Oracle owns their own operating system in the free and clear, what benefits do they gain from maintaining Unbreakable Linux? The answer is probably: "Not much".

Oracle Unbreakable Linux was originally designed to be a Linux distribution backed by Oracle's support group, which is considered superior to the support offered by Red Hat. It gives their enterprise customers a better sense of security knowing that they can get operating system and database support from a single vendor. It also provides a platform for Oracle contributions to Linux. Oracle has contributed improvements to libstdc++, NFS, ext3, and they are the original creators of the Btrfs filesystem. Those contributions are being made to ensure that Oracle runs great on Linux. But while they contribute a lot of code, they don't actually own the Linux kernel. Every Linux distributor can use Oracle's contributions, and the only true benefit Unbreakable Linux offers is their support package.

But now that Oracle has acquired Sun, the landscape has changed.




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